Thursday, May 16, 2013

William Hammond of Lavenham, England and Watertown, MA

anthony chammond flicker
In 1630 William Hammond, Trader, of Lavenham, England, was broke. The textile industry that had brought prosperity to East Anglia was suffering through a great depression, thousands of textile workers lost their income, and with no money to spare, merchants and other traders went down with them. Just as the economy was tanking, Puritan teachings were on the rise. In 1630 John Winthrop and Company landed in America and established the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  In 1631, William Hammond boarded the "Lyon" in Bristol and left England and his creditors behind and "fled into New England".  

english origins
William Hammond was born in 1575 in Lavenham, Suffolk, England. His father was Thomas of Lavenham, son of John of Long Melford and Lavenham. John Hammond was in the cloth business for which the area was famous and on which its wealth was based.  When he died in 1551 he left his son Thomas a house in Long Melford, he himself had inherited it from his father, also called John.  John and his wife Agnes had at least five children, one of whom, Margaret Hammond Jollye, was named in her brother Thomas' will. Agnes Hammond died on 6 Jan 1576/7 in Lavenham.  Note: Agnes is not Agnes Garrold, that Agnes was married to a John Hammond of Lawshall.

Thomas apparently did not want the house in Long Melford. The court rolls show that he gave up the house on Hall Street in 1577. His brother William did live in Long Melford and raised his family there. (His son Thomas Hammond was the immigrant to Newton, MA.)

Thomas married Rose Trippe in Lavenham on 14 May 1573. He does not appear to have been in the Cloth Trade himself, rather he owned various agrigultural properties and probably was a farmer.

William's father died on 24 November 1589 when he was only 14 years old.  Thomas left a will which helps to identify his wife and children. His only child not named in the will was baby Thomas, who died before his father. Note: this Thomas is not the one who immigrated to America.  
Will of Thomas Hammond of Lavenham, Suffolk written 2 Oct. 1589 (rewritten by me)
first I bequeath my soul unto Almighty God, my maker and redeemer and my body to the earth
item.  I give to Rose my wife, my house where Thomas Westlie now lives, with all the household items during the term of her natural life.  After she dies it all goes to my son William and his heirs
item. I give to Rose my field called Great Lyverdowne with a convenient way to the same through my lane that lies between the land of John Woode, the elder and Robert Daniel through my field called Litter Liverdon for her "drift and carriage" during the term of her natural life. After she died it all goes to William
item. I give to Rose my field called Little Lyverdon and the lane leading to it and all its appurtences during her life.  After her death it goes to my daughter Elizabeth and her heirs.  If she dies before Rose and has no heirs it goes to William and his heirs.
item.  I give to Rose my daughter forty shillings to be paid at ? age
item.  I give to Martha my daughter forty shillings
item.  I give to Marie my daughter forty shillings
item.  I give to Susan my daughter forty shillings
item.  I give to Margaret Jollye my sister a feather bed and a ship chest.
The residue of all my goods, corn, cattle, money, movables  plate, household stuff after my debts are paid I give to my wife Rose who I make and ordain to be sole Executrix of my last will and testament.

Children of Thomas and Rose baptized at St. Peter and St. Paul Lavenham
1.  Elizabeth bap. 1 April 1574 m. Daniel Livermore she was alive in 1633
2.  William bap. 30 Oct. 1575 d.  8 Oct. 1662 Watertown, MA
3.  Rose bap. 17 April 1578 buried 23 March 1604/5 Lavenham
4.  Martha bap. 6 Nov. 1580 m. Timothy Smart of Lavenham
5.  Susanna bap. 15 March 1581
5.  Marie bap. 7 July 1583
6.  Thomas bap. 9 Jan 1585/86  buried 16 Jan 1585/6 Lavenham

Rose Trippe Hammond wasted no time in finding a new husband.  She married on 30 April 1590 to Robert Steward. There is no record of Rose having any other children, at least none that survived her. She wrote her will in 1633, possibly so she could send a copy with William when he returned to Massachusetts. Rose had inherited twelve acres of land from her father which she in turn left to her son.  This land was disputed in a court case in later years.

william and his family
William married Elizabeth Paine of Lavenham in 1605.  She was the daughter of William and Agnes Neves Paine of Lavenham, Suffolk. Her family will be the topic of another blog.  There doesn't seem to be any info on the family outside the births/baptisms of their children, all born in Lavenham. Their first child was born in 1607 and was, not surprisingly, named William.
Saint Peter Saint Paul Lavenham

children of William and Elizabeth
1. William bap. 20 Sept. 1607  Lavenham d. 1636 killed in an Indian attack age 29
2. Anne bap. 19 Nov 1609 Lavenham d. 7 June 1615 Lavenham age 6
3. John bap. 5 Dec. 1611 Lavenham d. 16 Aug. 1620 age 9
4. Hannah b. July 1616 Lavenham d. 1 Sep. 1685 Watertown m. Timothy Hawkins/ Elis Barron
5. Thomas bap. 17 Sep. 1618  m. Hannah Cross 1655 Watertown d. 1655 Watertown age 37
6. Elizabeth b. abt. 1619 Lavenham, m. Samuel House 1636 Watertown, d. by 1661
7. Sarah bap. 21 Oct 1623 Lavenham, m. Richard Smith of Long Island d. unknown
8. John bap. 2 July 1626 Lavenham d. 22 Nov 1709 Watertown

leaving england
So, William was broke and declared bankrupt; creditors were on his heels.  All around him in Lavenham, Rattlesden, Boxted and other surrounding towns, whole family groups were picking up and leaving England for the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  Was he a devout Puritan?  Did he leave England for religious reasons or economic ones?  In 1631 he boarded the "Lyon" in Bristol Harbour and traveled to the Colony without his family. (there is some confusion as to when exactly William left England, some say 1 Dec. 1630, some May of 1631, Great Migration says late 1631).

The rest of the family came over in stages over the next few years.  William Jr. was in the Colony by 1633, he was mentioned by John Winthrop Jr. in a letter sent back to England.  Ann and Thomas may have come with him at that time.  In the spring 1634 Elizabeth and the rest of the children, daughters Elizabeth and Sarah and youngest child John,  sailed on the "Francis" from Ipswich.  Elizabeth was 47 when she left England, William was 55, it must have been quite a challenge starting from scratch at their age.  According to author/historian Roger Thompson, William Sr. traveled back to England to collect Elizabeth and the children. He carried letters and and vinegar for the Colony on the return trip.

Watertown was one of the first settlements started by the initial wave of immigrants that made up the Winthrop Group.   There are two great books by Roger Thompson that delve into the history of Watertown, I highly recommend each.  He goes into great depth into the formation and early days of the town. Starting a new town from scratch is no easy thing, especially in an environment of which you are completely ignorant . Suffice it to say that things were off to a rocky start.

By 1636 the Hammond Family was settled in Watertown. The settlers were have trouble growing enough grain and other foodstuffs to feed themselves. In June of 36, William Jr. set off on a trading mission to Virginia.  Sailing on a coastal schooner with one other companion, they carried "anything they could make or borrowe", they were on a mission to secure "corne" for their hungry fellow settlers. Unfortunately the schooner was shipwrecked in the Long Island Sound. William made it shore, but there he was attacked and killed by Indians.  His murder helped propel the new Colony into their first war with the Native Indians, the Pequot War.

back in england
Rose Trippe Hammond Steward was able to ward off her son's creditors as they had tried to take her land away from her, but since she held it for the duration of her life, they could not seize it. Rose died in 1645 and left the land to her son William.  In 1647 Thomas Hammond was sent by his father to claim ownership of the land and receive rents and other monies due from the land. This begin accomplished Thomas returned again to Watertown. The land would be eventually seized and sold off and Thomas' son would try to reclaim it in 1683. Thomas was quite successful merchant and at age 37, the year of his death, he was one of the richest men in town. Sadly he died at a very young age as did his wife.  Their only child, was raised by his uncle John Hammond.

life in watertown
Life for the Hammond's seemed to be fairly similar to their contemporaries enduring the highs and lows of life.  I am not sure if they were hard core Puritans like some of the other early immigrants. They had their share of failings.  Williams was in the bilboes for drinking too much.  His son John had his run in's with his neighbors, which dragged through the courts. In 1640 his daughter Sarah's finance dumped her and had to be taken to court to see the error of his ways and enforce his commitment to marry her.  William was also accused of harboring Quakers, a serious offence in those days.

For all the difficulties of their lives, William and Elizabeth  each lived to a very great age.   William died in 1662, out living most of his children.  Elizabeth died in 1670. They are assumed to have been buried in Watertown, but there are no graves for them.

Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, Immigrants to N. E., 1620-1633, Vol 2, (New England Historic and Genealogical Society, Boston, 1995) 850-853; digital images, American Ancestors ( : accessed 10 October 2015). The is the featured entry for William Hammond.

Oscar Fay Adams,"Our English Parent Towns", New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 56,(New England Historic and Genealogical Society, Boston, April 1902) 184; digital images, American Ancestors ( : accessed 10 October 2015). 

Frederick Stam Hammond, History and Genealogies of the Hammond Family in America, (Onida, NY, 1902), 35; image copy, Archives (www. : accessed 10 October 2015). Wills of both John Hammond and his wife Agnes Garrold Hammond of Lawshall, Suffolk, England.

"," indexed database, Find A Grave ( : accessed 10 October 2015), memorial  #35665028 for William Hammond (1575-1662) text only, Created by Linda Mac. No cemetery or gravestone noted. This is a memorial only, William was assumed to be buried in Watertown where he lived and died. 

Katherine A. Grandjean, "New World Tempests, Environment, Scarcity and the Coming of the Pequot War," The William and Mary Quarterly, 62, No. 1(January 2011) 75-100; digital images, JSTOR ( : accessed 10 October 2015). The article describes the death of William Hammond Jr.

Roger Thomspon, Divided We Stand, Watertown, Mass 1630-1680, (Boston: University of Massachusetts), 2001

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